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Archive for April 2nd, 2010

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Yum! Cupcakes!

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A few of The Cupcakery's flavors- I loved Orange Julius.

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The Cupcakery in Monte Carlo

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Let's transition from cupcakes to Bodies! ahaaahahaha!

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Friggin' amazing- these are heart/lung arteries at Bodies

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Shark Reek tunnel at Mandalay Bay

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QUA Spa- divine!

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The Arctic Chill room at Qua Spa

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Blue Man Group

On my recent trip to Vegas, I went to a whole slew of shows and places that you wouldn’t expect to see in the ‘Sin City’. Here is a list that I recommend to ease off that hangover:

1. The Cupcakery at Monte Carlo-In a saturated market of cupcake boutiques, The Cupcakery was one of the first cupcake boutiques in the U.S. Founded by Pamela Jenkins, this bakery specializes in beautiful cake creations with unique flavor combinations guaranteed to put a smile on anyone’s face. The mother of an 18-month-old baby, Jenkins juggles motherhood while creating miniature, edible cake art. The Cupcakery has five stores across Las Vegas and Texas, including the Monte Carlo Hotel and Casino on the Vegas strip. The streamlined stores offer more than 15 flavors like Tickle Me Pink, a classic white cake with pink butter cream frosting and Strawberry Shortcake, a strawberry cake topped with strawberry and heavy cream frostings. The hands- down most popular cupcake is actually an old family recipe for Southern Belle, a red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting. Jenkins was generous enough to have a taste almost every flavor and some standouts were Bugsy, a carrot cake with cream cheese frosting and Kir Royale, a raspberry cake drenched in bubbly champagne frosting- Delish! The Cupcakery bakes each and every delicious cupcake with fresh ingredients everyday allowing a high quality cake that is as decadent as Vegas itself. Special cupcakes are made depending on the ‘cupcake fairy’s’ mood, including a fantastic cupcake called Orange Julius, which is an orange cake with orange a cream frosting tasting. Not only are these cupcakes scrumptious, they are so colorful and artfully decorated you will feel inclined to go ‘paparazzi’ on these little desserts. Clearly, I went nuts with photos. It’s no wonder why Justin Timberlake orders these up by the dozen when he’s in Vegas!

2. Bodies.. The Exhibition at The Luxor-Entering into Bodies…The Exhibition opens your eyes to how the human body is truly a magnificent piece of functioning art. Exhibiting at The Luxor in Las Vegas, Bodies… The Exhibition showcases over 275 full body and organ specimens preserved through a process called Polymer Preservation. This process is essentially a technique that turns human tissue into rubber using liquid silicone rubber and allows the specimen to not decay.

Fascinating and at times, profound, getting a glimpse of what is inside our bodies can be the key to life changing decisions that may ponder us. For instance, a smoker’s blackened lung and a healthy lung are placed side-by-side. It’s images like this that makes a textbook look like child’s play. Another harrowing image is a liver stricken with cirrhosis compared to a healthy liver. It is enough to make you become an angel in Sin City!

Besides the shock value, Bodies…The Exhibition is a wonderful tool for children to understand about what makes us tick. I highly recommend the audio tour that goes along with the exhibition- there is one for adults and one for children. Accompanying these body parts are interesting facts like “Bones are five times stronger than mild steel”, “Children’s bones grow faster in the springtime” and “Girl’s brains account for 2.5 percent of their body weight.  Boy’s brains account for 2 percent”. I particularly like the last fact- something to mention to the man in your life. Here’s another one: “Your brain activity produces enough electrical energy to power a 10 watt light bulb.”, which brings new meaning to dimwit. I’ll stop. Anyway, my favorite part of the exhibit was the display of the human heart and arteries that looked like something you find at the bottom of an ocean. Colored in fluorescent pink and electric blue, the human heart and arteries were magnificently preserved to show where blood pumps and leaves the efficient ‘machine’. “Every drop of blood in the body passes through the heart once per minute”, which proves that we must never take our bodies for granted. Appropriate for The Luxor, this is the modern-day mummification of the amazing human body. Don’t miss it!

3. Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay-Hidden in the depths of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino is a wonderful oasis filled with aquatic wildlife known as Shark Reef Aquarium. To see a plethora of ocean creatures in a desert can be a mirage, but in Vegas anything is possible, including, well, ocean creatures in the desert.Stepping into the Shark Reef Aquarium you will see billowing fluorescent pink jellyfish, scaly crocodiles, humongous fish that would make a sushi chef weep and sharks of all ages and sizes. Beautifully constructed, the aquarium boasts a ‘shipwrecked’ room with panoramic views of the bottom of the ‘sea’ with prowling Green Sawfish, huge schools of tiny fish, playful sharks and even a treasure chest. A delightful, 360-degree tunnel allows optimal view of nature’s marine treasures. Shark Reef is the only aquarium in North America displaying the many predators of the sea- 2,000 predators to be exact. Explore the jungle area of the aquarium dedicated to crocodiles, endangered lizards and piranhas that would make James Bond shiver. Touch a real live stingray in the shallow, fresh water pool. Although many of the sea life here are aggressive, you can’t help admire their beauty and perseverance to survive. With the over -fished and ravaged oceans of the world, we must be conscious of every choice, whether at the supermarket or buying products that can affect the fate of sea life, in order to protect these not-so–gentle giants. If you are in Vegas, take a break from the debauchery and get in touch with the marine life where all life started billions of years ago.

4. QUA Spa at Caesar’s Palace-Stepping into Caesar’s Palace brings you back into glorious Ancient Rome with its grandeur décor and ambiance. As spring approaches, this world-renowned hotel and casino has added an exclusive pool area called,’ Garden of the Gods’. It includes a stunning waterfall, swim-up gaming, and three brand new pools named after Gods over fives acres of land.

If you are looking for a place to relax in a more serene setting, look no further than QUA Spa at Caesar’s Palace. As you step into the warm stone and wood walls, listening to the rainwater fall from above in almost every room of the spa, you can’t help to feel at peace. A lovely change to the constant drone of the slot machines (unless you’re winning, of course!) Some spas only allow you with the experience of the treatment you have booked, whereas QUA Spa allows you to maximize your relaxation time by inviting you to enjoy the Roman baths, steam rooms, sauna, and tea lounge. Yes, a tea lounge serving organic signature teas only found at QUA spa. This could easily turn an hour into the entire day.

The Roman Baths features three pools of different sizes and temperatures ranging from relaxing hot to an invigorating cold. Cascading rainwater falls throughout the room allowing a spontaneous shower, if you wish. Almost like an outdoor pool area, stone mosaic covered ‘lounge chairs’ offered a wonderful place to take a nap, read a magazine, or chat with friends. This sort of social spa is perfect for a day with your girlfriends, especially since men and women have separate areas. Several steam rooms, including herbal steam room and cedar wood steam rooms are great for sweating the stress away or go for the ‘Arctic Chill’ and step into a room with snow falling while you chill the stress away. Nothing is too lavish at the QUA Spa.

A cup of tea is just steps away at the Tea Lounge served by a Tea Sommelier offering six unique blends of tea. It is here where you can replenish before and after your treatment. The QUA Spa offers luxurious showers and locker rooms where almost every amenity is provided. Be sure to try one of the signature treatments like the Signature Chakra Balancing, which uses customized warm oils to align your chakras.

Whatever treatment you choose, you will emerge a completely new person after a day at this ‘social’ spa. ‘Whatever happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas’ would not be the case here- you will want to tell everyone about the unique ‘Godly’ experience that awaits you at QUA Spa!

5. Blue Man Group at The Venetian-What is so funny about three men in blue makeup that behave like social aliens? Everything. Not only is this a comedy show that people of all ages can enjoy, but it also showcases the art of percussion and music. Exploring fine line of art and the absurd, Blue man Group offers an insightful look at what may be ridiculous to one maybe art to another. Case in point, can a canvas spat on with paint be art? Or can a mound of marshmallows that was once inside a Blue Man’s mouth be called art. It is most definitely in the eye of the beholder. Taking interesting looks at the incredible amount of ‘information’ available to us, it makes you wonder when does too much information just all become irrelevant and just ‘screen noise’? Witty and amusing, Blue Man dares to question the post-modern world. One of my favorite parts of the show is the audience participation by a lady having ‘dinner’ with the Blue Men. Seeing the Blue Men act awkwardly and sometimes Neanderthal-like, in the presence of a non-blue lady will have in stitches and will make you appreciate the man in your life! Putting all the social innuendos aside, the rumble of the percussions and sometimes raver-like music is enough to get into that Las Vegas mood. At times, the show was like a concert where you forget all you have gambled, not worry about that grand buffet you just ate and just have fun! Besides, Blue Man Group set the trend with making blue chic– just look at Avatar! Blue Man Group is playing now at The Venetian in Las Vegas.

Happy Easter! Look at this Giant Bunny! Dayum!

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photos: Moi, QUA Spa, The Cupcakery, Bodies…The Exhibition, Blue Man Group, Shark Reek Aquarium

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